Why are there so many cases of sexual misconduct? What is causing this surge of revelations? Why is everyone so shocked and surprised?
Those were always the rules to the game.
You knew it. I knew it. Our parents knew it. The presidents down through the ages knew it. The preachers and priests knew it. By the time we were twelve years old, maybe younger, we…Continue
Mass shootings can happen anywhere, but they are only a matter of routine in the United States.
Oddly, I've encountered many Americans who seem resigned to this fact of life in our country. They have no suggestions to remedy the situation except the occasional call for more guns. Americans, however, already have more guns than any other nation.
So if that were…Continue
People keep asking, what is going on in America today? Why is it so different than anything we can remember before this? And, I've taken to screaming this in their ears:
The religious right is doing this to us!
Most people don't or can't keep their eye on that ball because their liberal religions claim to idealize equality and many progressive…Continue
Liberal Christians seem so benign. They hold many of the same political points of view as I do. To one degree or another they also support a secular society. Unlike the conservative Christian or even worse the radicalized Christian, the liberal Christian is less strident, more open minded, less dogmatic and more accepting of other belief systems. Do they do less harm than the more militant fellow Christian soldiers? I contend that in some ways they actually contribute much harm to…Continue
I have long loved the works of the Bronte sisters, Emily, Anne and Charlotte. Such disturbing stories like Jane Eyre provided me with endless hours of entertainment as a young person. I was forbidden the reading of fiction in my devout Christian home, but I managed to hide books from the library and read them after dark with a flashlight under the sheets of my bed. As a young person, I related with the bleak outlook that the Bronte sisters captured in their books.…Continue
America, the land of the free and the home of the brave. Sounds like a song. Oh, wait a minute, it is a song. And, patriots everywhere in this exceptional country sing it, stand for it and well up inside whenever they hear it. Patriotism, a manufactured cultural response to wherever a human is born, still rings loud and clear in most countries. I've never been anywhere in the world, and I've been lots and lots of places, that lacked this feeling of love for country. The commitment to a birth…Continue
We're witnessing the politics of fear — AGAIN
There is something marvelously predictable about human behavior when under duress or living with general anxiety. If day in and day out you're worried about your job or your safety, if every time you open the door a new BIG problem is there to greet you, if you can't keep up with the onslaught of drama, if you don't even understand a good bit of what is being said…Continue
If you think you know the answer to the question in the title, you may still want to read my recently-published opinion piece on the Faithless Feminist.Continue
Most countries import goods from all over the world. We love exotic fruits that are out of season. We drive foreign cars that continually create competition for manufacturers. We wear clothing that was made by people from the other side of the planet. But did you know that nuns and priests are being imported as well?
Shocking, isn't it?
Last winter when I was in…Continue
Charlatans are not a new phenomenon.
They've been around ever since humans discovered how easy it is to trick someone else into meeting their needs — be it giving them money, service or adoration. Although scamming folks is not solely the domain of the religious nor do only the superstitious succumb to such slick dicks, the ordained charlatan is a particularly loathsome critter.…Continue
If you've never been to Spain and you like to travel, put it on your bucket list.
I've been returning to Spain for twelve years, often staying for my 90-day limit on my passport. There are loads of reasons why I fell in love with Spain, but one that I often fail to remember is that like much of Europe, Spain is far more secular than the US. That's no small accomplishment considering their crushing history…Continue
I've been thinking about Spain today and an acquaintance of mine who I've known for almost 12 years. He happens to own a beautiful family run hotel with a million dollar view perched high in the mountains of southern Spain. He is old enough to remember the Franco era. For those of you who may not know, Francisco Franco was the facsist dictator of Spain who rose to power during the Spanish Civil War in 1939 until his death. After his death Spain became a democracy.…Continue
I'm an empath. In fact, I register rather high on the empathy spectrum. That means that I was born with the capacity to not only sympathize with the pain of others but to FEEL the pain and suffering of complete strangers in my own body. It's a mixed blessing. Often, even as a child, I was confounded, perplexed and infuriated by the apparent lack of empathy and compassion that many people of faith seemed in desperate need of, especially if they were to follow in the…Continue
What if I'm wrong?
That question has been asked by many believers with the intent of haunting me into submission out of fear. Fear is a great way to control people. We see it all the time, not only coming from believers trying to save nonbelievers from hellfire and brimstone, but also from politicians trying to convince us that some imminent horror is almost on our doorstep and we best do what they suggest in…Continue
In 1995, Ireland finally legalized divorce. After decades of living under the crushing rule of the Catholic Church. Malta, a country arguably more Catholic than inside the Vatican itself, managed by a very slim margin to legalize divorce in 2011. Are you as shocked as I was? Having lived in Malta, I can assure you that the tiny island which has often served as the crossroads of the world, has a long tradition of earnestness when it comes to The Church. I happened to…Continue
There was a time when the unspoken but powerful cultural expectations for a proper marriage went something like this.
The woman shouldn't be taller than the man nor make more money than the man. They both must be racially matched. The man should be older than the woman. The woman…